Latest archaelogy find in Nice, the Garibaldi crypt
A few years ago, the tramway urban building site occasioned excavations throughout the town, which led to the discovery of unexpected architecture finds: a major site bearing comparison with Le Louvre. We have the story.
An underground 2000 square-meter-room was unveiled during the building of the first tramway line under Place Garibaldi. The excavations started in 2006 and brought into daylight well preserved fortifications near Pairolière Gate, dating back to the XIVth century. During that period, the Dukes of Provence owned the town and they had the fortifications improved because they were crucial to the defence of the place. However, they will disappear under Louis XIV’s reign 1706.
Classified Historic Monument in Spring 2012, this heritage site of outmost interest compares with Paris Le Louvre’s crypt. “There’s no doubt it will become a tourist Mecca for culture on the Côte d’Azur” says Jean-Marc Giaume in charge of local historical heritage.
For the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi: “In this place, excavating means deciphering Nice genom. Now, each resident can learn more about his history, and knowing more about one’s history means knowing oneself better.”
The itinerary starts at Square Jacques Toja and ends under the statue of Garibaldi. Within a hundred metres, one travels through several centuries: the Pairolière tower cylinder, the aqueduct bringing water to the Sardinian Palace gardens, Saint Augustin suburb medieval house vestiges, the huge XVIIth century Saint Sebastien bastion, the piers of the bridge leading to Route de Turin. Looking up, one will be impressed by the enormous concrete beams supporting the tramway platform above…
Nowhere else does a tramway line run above an archaeology site. Other crypts exist in the country but they have never been integrated to urban development. That makes the local situation atypical and adds an extraordinary asset to Nice touristic attractions.
Guided visits for groups of 15 are organized everyday, except Tuesdays.
Centre du Patrimoine: 75 Quai des Etats Unis Nice.